UNCW hosts the ninth edition of the Hilton Garden Inn Classic this weekend at the UNCW Soccer Stadium. The Seahawks, who open with Presbyterian on Friday, have won five of the eight classics since the event’s inception.
The Seahawks enter the tournament on a confident two-win streak as the No. 24 ranked team in the country.
“Ohio State and Cincinnati are two good teams and defeating them on the road was a real confidence booster,” said UNCW Head Coach Aidan Heaney, who is in his 13th year with the men’s soccer program.
The Mercer Bears, who were 11-7-2 in 2012, are looking for their first win of the season, having dropped their opener to Clemson 2-0. Mercer was picked to finish third in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Elon’s season began with a tie against Northeastern and a win over Rutgers last weekend. Elon’s record last season was 15-5-2 and they qualified the NCAA tournament in 2012.
Presbyterian, who finished 4-16 last season, played a tough game in their season opener, edging out USC Upstate for a 4-3 OT win.
Friday, Sept. 6, Mercer vs. Elon at 5 p.m., and Presbyterian vs. UNCW at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 8, Elon vs. Presbyterian at 1 p.m., and Mercer vs. UNCW at 3:30 p.m.
$6 for adults/$2 ages 15 and under, free for UNCW students with ID. Tickets are for each full day, and are available at the UNCW Soccer Stadium the days of the tournament.
UNCW Invitational at Althea Gibson Tennis Complex
Players from six other schools will join host UNCW this weekend when Coach Mait DuBois and the men’s tennis team stages the UNCW Invitational at Empie Park’s Althea Gibson Tennis Center.
The Seahawks, ranked No. 43 in the final 2013 Intercollegiate Tennis Association poll, are making their first appearance of the fall season in the event, which runs Friday through Sunday. Overall, UNCW will compete in seven tournaments before the semester break.
“We’re very excited to start the fall season and always love to play here in Wilmington,” said DuBois, the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year. “It’s a special situation where we get to work with one of our local tennis clubs and connect with fans in the local tennis community.
“Tari Ann Toro and her staff are very generous to allow us to host this event and it’s a pleasure to play at one of the best public tennis facilities in North Carolina. We’re always get a great turnout when we play at the Althea Gibson Tennis Center and we’re looking forward to a great event.”
Play begins at 9:30 a.m. each day and the Seahawks will be competing against players from East Carolina, Liberty, New Mexico, UT-Chattanooga, North Carolina Central and VCU. The tournament’s format features two doubles brackets and four singles draws. The doubles finals will be held Sunday morning, with the singles championships to follow.
There is no admission at the 19-court facility and plenty of parking is available.